The plan to commemorate Scott's centenary and the death of the Polar Party is a noble and fitting tribute. I support the efforts of the team at ISCE and wish them all the very best for their plans in Antarctica in 2012.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
The purpose of the ISCE is to provide a fitting focus and commemoration of the achievements of Scott's expedition, to generate maximum public interest and so inspire an effective education and media programme.
The ISCE has grown, from a simple original proposal to hold a memorial service on the ice at the last camp site of Scott and his companions, involving a representative from each of the five polar families, into a considerable catalyst for Scott centenary education, outreach work and events. This was at the request of the Pole families, who wanted to use the project to reconnect a generation with the stories of their ancestors and to inspire people anew, to create a forward looking project, not a backward one and, if possible, to help support the existing legacies of the expedition such as the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge. The visit to the ice was always viewed as an important catalyst rather than an end in itself.
In the current financial climate we are very pleased to be able to announce that we will, indeed, be sending a party to the ice to meet our objectives.
One hundred years after a search party found the body of Captain Scott and his comrades and buried them on the ice, the ISCE will insert a small team onto the ice to remember this event. Henry Evans, our Telegraph Competition winner, will be guided by veteran polar explorer and Scott enthusiast, Geoff Somers, MBE. They will sledge the last two degrees to the South Pole, roughly the same distance that the search party had to travel in order to find Scott's final resting place a century ago. They will travel 'In the Spirit of Scott' executing small scientific projects for the University of Plymouth along the way. Once at the Pole, they will post the winning letters for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust 'write a letter to the future' competition.
Only two expeditions have been given the rare privilege of Government recognition to commemorate the Scott centenary on the Antarctic Ice, the ISCE 2012 and the British Services Antarctic Expedition (BSAE) 2012. We have therefore co-ordinated our efforts as sister expeditions, under the banner, In The Spirit of Scott. Both expeditions recognise the fact that Captain Scott and his expedition did not race to the Pole but undertook serious scientific and exploration work, along with a considerable education programme. We have each developed our programmes accordingly. The BSAE has been executing scientific and exploration work on the Antarctic Peninsula during January 2012 and the ISCE is generating education and public outreach for polar science and heritage around its visit to the ice in November 2012.
We are currently seeking sponsors.
The International Scott Centenary Expedition represents the heart of the Scott centenary. We hope to involve as many people as possible in its effort.
Thank you for your support.